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Palestinian Perspective

by Mrs Hanan Jarrar, Ambassador of Palestine

6 April 2020

It has been a long time since I wrote anything that was not work related, but I feel now is the perfect time for me to start writing again. We are living in historic times. It certainly is a historic era for me personally.

Three months ago, I arrived in a new country as the Ambassador of my people. South Africa became home and along with settling in and getting familiar with my surroundings, so much more happened. I presented my credentials to the President, the same day I had to face the fallout of Trump’s “Deal of the Century”, met over 1000 people and set a routine for work and home. I am a wife and a mother,  a daughter and a sister and, above  all, a representative of my people. I am always busy. In the middle of my being busy, a little bug called Coronavirus spread rapidly across the world and joined us all in a common fight.

Many countries in the world slowed down and eventually locked down,  Palestine and South Africa are no exception.  This world event really ignited my consciousness and is making me reflect on life from a different perspective.

Suddenly, I am made to slow down, stop my normal routine of work and stay home. Family has always been important to me, but now I can truly appreciate time spent with them. I can reconnect with nature and reflect on what the Earth means to me and how much the Earth gives us. Suddenly, I have time to see clearly what is around me and also reconnect with myself.

As a Palestinian, I always pondered about the Nakba and the Naksa; I experienced the first and second Intifadas; I lived the agony of three consecutive wars on Gaza; and I’ve also gone through the daily struggles of Palestinians. So a fight against an enemy is nothing new to me. But, for the first time ever, I see the world united in a fight, to beat the spread of this virus. I can only hope and pray that one day the whole world will also be united in the fight for Palestine’s freedom.

These three months have been short, but also so rich with experiences that I'm quite sure will shape my outlook on life. In the future, when I will look back on this period of my life, I'm sure l will see a time when I grew as a person. I hope that by then, I will also see a time when humanity grew as people across the whole world realize that life itself, love and peace are much more valuable than any material objects.




February/March 2020








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